Monday, November 21, 2005


Some bands I respect more than I love, and the Velvets are one. I am deeply respectful of their importance in the history of rock and am especially mindful of their DNA in much of the music I listen to, but I never fell in love with them. I like some of the songs, am indifferent to most, and I honestly don't think there's any overarching reason other than the songs just don't move me.


I am a huge John Cale fan. I think his solo albums are always fascinating and frustrating and eerie and subversive and ultimately satisfying, things I can not say of, oh, Lou Reed's solo efforts.

John Cale has a new solo album out, *Black Acetate.* (And really, I recognize that pre-Christmas is THE time for new album releases, but what is it about this season that many of my old favorites are releasing new stuff simultaneously?) You can sample the album here (flash required).

It is much more rock than his two previous (and, to me, better) albums *Hobo Sapiens* and (especially) *Walking on Locusts.* One song, my favorite, "Perfect,"is a wonderfully executed formulaic pop song. I haven't warmed completely to *Black Acetate* yet, but I've only given it five or six listens. It is a back to instead of towards album it seems to me, and I'm not sure if my hesitancy is based on the quality of the music on *Black Acetate* or my expectations of where Cale would go following the two previous albums. It is, in effect, a back to moment for me: it is an album I respect more than like, so far.

I am curious: I've never heard the album Cale did with Terry Riley, who I am unfamiliar with except for seeing Riley's name on S21 and other blogs. Has anyone heard the Cale/Riley collaboration? And what Riley would anyone suggest as a starting point for a newby?


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